Pixar's 'Brave': How One Frame Went from Sketch to Screen [EXCLUSIVE PICS]

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Storyboard

Pixar artists sketch out an entire movie in their proprietary storyboard program -- then watch it, then sketch it all again -- before anything goes any further. There's one storyboard sketch for every few seconds on Brave.

Click here to view this gallery.

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For Pixar fans who've been eager to see a full-length film from the animation studio for more than a year -- or had their appetite whetted by this trailer back in November -- the waiting is almost over. Brave, the story of the trials and tribulations of a medieval Scottish highlands princess called Merida, hits the screens this Friday, June 22.

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Mashable got an early look at the movie itself -- more on that later -- and an in-depth look behind the scenes at Pixar's magnificent brick headquarters in Emeryville Calif., a former bakery whose redesign was Steve Jobs' pride and joy. We've got a bunch of video and interviews with the Brave team, which we'll be sharing with you in the run up to the film's release.

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But let's kick off with these images in the gallery above, exclusive to Mashable. It takes one pivotal scene in the movie -- the iconic archery sequence, where Merida is employing her considerable skills with a crossbow to claim the right to remain unmarried -- and shows how it went from storyboard sketch to beautifully constructed, fantastically rendered product.

And it only took six years, from the team's first research trip to Scotland to final release. (Yep, that's right -- Brave has been in production since 2006; back then it was called "The Bear and the Bow.")

And because it's a digital film, the team has been tweaking it, even rebuilding entire sets, right up until a few weeks ago.

When I asked Brave director Mark Andrews how he avoided tweaking the movie even more, right up until the moment it is transmitted to theaters, he had just three words: "Samurai self-discipline."

Are you looking forward to seeing what Andrews has cooked up? Let us know in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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